Pidgin 2.10.7 Review

Pidgin is a multi-service messenger app that lets you chat with users from MSN, AIM, Gmail, ICQ, and more, all from a single app. Users can keep their modern clients but also keep in touch with their old-school friends and family who just refuse to get off AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. It also supports lesser-known protocols like Jabber, MySpace, and Gadu-Gadu.

Installation was pretty straightforward: You'll be taken through a series of standard confirmations for install directories and then be introduced to an initial setup process to have your accounts synced up. Unfortunately, at the time of … Read more

Chat on the go with Pidgin Portable

Pidgin Portable is a fully portable version of Pidgin, the unified chat app formerly known as GAIM. It handles multiple instant messaging accounts in one simple interface, including not only the big names like AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and ICQ but also less common networks such as Jabber, SILC, XMPP, and MXit. Like the standard installed version, Pidgin Portable is freeware, but its portability means you can take your IM account settings and buddy lists with you on a USB drive. It handles many plug-ins, including encryption tools.

Since PortableApps converted Pidgin, we were confident that the portable version would download … Read more

Pidgin speaks to MSN users

Despite the uncomplicated version number, open-source, multiclient chat app Pidgin 2.5 doesn't include any major improvements unless you're fascinated by bug-fixes or are a big MSN-messenger user.

Available for Windows, in a portable version, and for Linux, the update features support for Microsoft's Live Messenger offline messaging, and personal messages. The latter will show up as Status messages. Live Messenger's non-face Smileys should be updated, too.

Other improvements are much smaller in scale: Group and Chat buddy list entries now support custom buddy icons via the context menu, and there's the usual spate of … Read more

Gaim evolves into Pidgin 2.0

The free instant-messaging client Gaim (GDK+ AOL Instant Messenger) has become popular in recent years because of its ability to connect with a wide range of IM networks (Yahoo, MSN, IRC, Jabber/Google Talk/XMPP, AIM, ICQ, Gadu-Gadu, and others) and its extensibility in the form of user-created plug-ins.

The name Gaim came about due to complaints from AOL about the name GDK+ AOL Instant Messenger. However, as AOL Instant Messenger became more popular, AOL trademarked the acronym "AIM," leading to further legal struggles with the Gaim developers. After a series of negotations, the developers agreed to change the name of the 2.0 version of Gaim to Pidgin, based on the word for simplified speech between people who do not share a common language.

The big change in Pidgin 2.0 is the new look. The interface has been redesigned, with the option to view your Buddy List in Basic or Advanced view. Important facets like plug-ins and status availability have been broken out of the Preferences dialog and into areas of their own. Plug-ins have their own dialog available from the Tools menu, and status is now set by a drop-down menu at the bottom of your buddy list.… Read more

One IM to rule them all?

Editor's note: This is Part One of a two-part series on multinetwork IM clients. Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about all-in-one Web and mobile chatting.

There's a lot to chat about in the multiprotocol IM universe. Pidgin just debuted as a full-fledged version 2.0, replacing the much-loved Gaim. Trillian is gearing up to wow us all with its gleaming browser-based Astra version, and every day more and more plug-ins pop up to make this breed of protocol-bridging IM clients more extensible and functional.

If you're still logging into three separate chat services to contact your friends, it's time to consider these consolidated options.… Read more